Youth must take advantage of foreign interest in Sikkim’s organic produce: Agri Secy

Gangtok, 19 Nov:

Department of Food Security & Agriculture Development and Horticulture & Cash Crops called a press meet today here at the chamber of Agriculture Department Secretary, Khorlo Bhutia, to issue an appeal to farmers and youthof the State to enhance organic production for export.

Addressing the media today, the Agriculture Secretary said, “After Sikkim achieved fully organic status, many countries have shown interest in exploring opportunities and have sought for co-operation with the State in organic farming. Mitsubishi cooperation of Japan has approached us for sourcing organic commodities from Sikkim. Another business house is also exploring the possibility of growing organic sticky rice.”

The Secretary informed that a delegation from the Trade Office, Embassy of Republic of Korea recently visited Sikkim to source commodities especially vegetables from the State. They were interested in sourcing raw materials for preparation of their popular dish “kimchi” [fermented cabbage], he added.

He also informed that a delegation from Ukraine [Organic Federation of Ukraine] is expected to visit the State next week for exploring business opportunities as well as cultivation of buckwheat, garlic and pumpkins.

The Secretary mentioned that sticky rice demonstration organized by private company from Japan, KOWA-Japan, has been initiated at Kameray Village in East Sikkim.

It may be mentioned here, a five-member delegation of KOWA-Japan is conducting sticky rice demonstration programme in Kameray Village with buy back guarantee and compensation in case of crop failure. Similarly, certification of turmeric as per Korean standard is under process at Kameray with buy back guarantee for export to South Korea.

On behalf of the concerned department, the Agriculture Secretary has appealed to the youth and farmers of Sikkim to come forward and take full benefit of the opportunity.